Monday, November 21, 2005

A post I would not have read had I not written it.

Coz its about cricket. And I am not a cricket maniac. I don't think much of a sport where the sportsmen can afford to be tubby (think Inzy-with-a-paunch) ;) But hey, I am an Indian, and if the cricket magic does not touch you in India, you are probably living in a bubble. And that was why I went to the India-SA second one-dayer at Bangalore on Saturday. Wow! What an experience!!

It was my first cricket match. Yes, I mean that. I had not watched any match completely, even on TV. The only time I watch cricket is when India is playing a one-dayer against somebody and they are on the verge of winning and it is very close and there are a lot of other people around me all in a frenzy. Otherwise, if a match is on and I hear wild cheering, I come running to the TV and watch the replay of the dismissal or the boundary or whatever it is. That's cricket for me.

Anyway, about the match - we went early to avoid the inevitable traffic jam... and we got to see the players at the nets, and their warm-up sessions. As they came out one by one for the practice sessions, they were cheered, but nobody responded, except Greg Chappell, who gave us a gracious wave, which drove the crowds crazier. The team ran, threw, caught, hit, exercised, chatted, kidded around, even as each new bunch of spectators entered, recognized their heroes and shouted out to them. By the time the match started, the stadium was filled to capacity, and the roaring and waving and cheering was deafening.

The match began, and before I knew it, there were 3 dismissals and I had missed them all :( I was busy with something inane, like wondering why the protective fence had two bars missing, or where the chips-seller had disappeared.

I actually looked back towards the field, waiting for a replay, when I realised that I was not watching TV. I admit I felt quite stupid ;) And the large screen was not working, so no replay there either. But I really concentrated after that and caught all the other dismissals and boundaries.

Meanwhile, I had to contend with a tall unruly-haired man who plonked himself in the seat in front of me, blocking my view entirely [as a sidenote, ever wondered why all the people who sit in the seat in front of you are tall with unruly hair?] There was also this man who steadfastly refused to put out his cigarette, and asked "Why?" when requested to stop smoking.

Adding masala to the match was hubby dearest who kept up a running commentary for my benefit. He also slapped his forehead a few times when I asked him "ignorant" questions like "Why do they change sides after each over?" He was also sweet enough to keep up a constant supply of food. [Though I have a sneaking suspicion that it was to keep my mouth full so that I would not ask him any more stupid questions]

So with all the other crazy people, I screamed, jumped, threw my arms around, hi-fived, jigged, and mexican-waved and brought the cheering to a roaring crescendo as India swept to a cool victory.

I still cannot talk about offside and legside and doosras but I can brag, "Oh, I saw Tendulkar from within 20 feet", and I guess that makes me a fan!

18 comments:

Sri Harsha said...

Hmmm....grt experience to cherish ha....ofcourse....until the nxt match @ b'lore.

Gud for u!

The only match i remember attending was way bck in '90 or so...and tht was an exhibition match. But was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of sunny,veng'kar,srikanth and shasthri....

Mary said...

Nice post :) I like the bit - ever wondered why all the people who sit in the seat in front of you are tall with unruly hair? LOL! that is so true :)

Global Indian said...

The match began, and before I knew it, there were 3 dismissals and I had missed them all

Thats one reason why I rarely go to watch cricket in stadiums. Wonder when these guys put in place a working screen that shows replays. After all, people watching cricket in stadia spend more time, effort and money to be there.

He was also sweet enough to keep up a constant supply of food. [Though I have a sneaking suspicion that it was to keep my mouth full so that I would not ask him any more stupid questions]

This is a good one.. :))

Minal said...

Shruti,
I'm glad you enjoyed the experience and a nice description. I have been going to Wankhede, Mumbai since '93 and try not to miss a single one.
I've cherished every moment and every match. It's different, it's vibrant and the crowds know their game and love it too.

As for only Greg Chappell waving back, I think of all the teams I have seen, Aussies are most responsive to the crowds.

I shall never forget the moment when Aussies played their first test in 2001 at Mumbai and Mark Waugh bowed down with a Namaste to the crowds and had them go into a frenzy:-)

Go lady, enjoy some more matches:-))

Rauf said...

please listen to my side of story

Some one sitting behind me always tells me to move my head a bit and I get back home with a stiff neck
I am talking about movie theatres
But there is lot of excercise in the stadium, Things are happening around you, great fun, whats happening on the field is just half the fun, this is what you miss on the TV. Terrific description yours wowwee yanjoyeed it

Rauf said...

Its sad Just sad
you've got it in your blood
You may think no one is reading your blogs, Lady you've got the gift. you seem to write about nothing and still make it interesting and a talent like yours doesn't need a subject to write

Shruthi said...

@Sri Harsha: Yes, fantastic experience :) Oh so you got to see the Greats! Cool ;)

@Mary: Thank you :)

@Ravi: Thank you!
Yes, there were a few times I wished I were at home in front of the TV, just for the replays, but well, you win some, you lose some! ;)

@Minal: Thank you! You seem to be a die-hard cricket fan! And you must have had some lovely moments at the matches! :)
Hmmm ok ok! If I get a chance to watch more matches live, I won't let it pass :)

@Rauf: So I know what you look like :)
Yes the atmosphere in the stadium is really fantastic! Cannot beat it!

Shruthi said...

Wow, Rauf, those are very kind words! Thank u so much!

Rauf said...

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
me showing all of my 4 teeth

indiacorporatewatch said...

Ah..... Shruthi good to know you had fun !

I remember going to the last match

I am no big cricket fan but
I slept on the footpath the night before in front of the ticket counter
to get the tickets
(India Vs Pakistan)
and Me and my friends had a blast
that night on the footpath.

After the match I realized I actually enjoyed sleeping on the
footpath more than watching the match
Well that's me !

BTW-Thanks for informing about the contest .I am a little busy but will give it a shot

and your blog seems to be on a roll

Shruthi said...

@Abhay: :) Sleeping on the footpath! I am sure with a bunch of equally fun-loving guys, it would have been a cool thing to do!

Shreyas said...

Wonderful name - nychthemeron! And very well written experience :)

The Comic Project said...

:-) the comment on india uncut about "nice". True.

Shruthi said...

@Shreyas: I like the name too :) Thank you!

@Comic Project: :)

Bhupi said...

Gr8 experience!!!! I'm still looking for such an experience for myself.
I watched the match on net and was disappointed the way they started but felt good abt the way they came back fighting.....win and loss is not important...important is spirits....

Nishit said...

Awesome post, Shruti..you are a good writer..

Sudhakar said...

Good post Shruthi, This one was so cool..

He was also sweet enough to keep up a constant supply of food. [Though I have a sneaking suspicion that it was to keep my mouth full so that I would not ask him any more stupid questions]

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